Patients in Manchester are to be among the first in the country to be able to explore an NHS clinical assessment and treatment service from the comfort of their own homes prior to an appointment, courtesy of an innovative Google Business View virtual tour.
Independent health and social care provider, Care UK, operates the Greater Manchester NHS Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (CATS) on behalf of the NHS. Care UK hopes the tour will help to demystify the patient journey and help people to be better prepared for their appointments.
The virtual tour showcases the high quality facilities available to NHS patients utilising Greater Manchester NHS CATS, which consists of large mobile clinics that rotate between seven sites around Greater Manchester, typically spending four or five days at each location before moving on overnight. Patients are referred to the service by their GPs and can expect to receive quick access to treatment, fewer overall appointments, quicker diagnosis of their condition and better overall outcomes.
The Greater Manchester NHS CATS team includes specialists in a range of areas, including urology, ear, nose and throat, gynaecology, musculoskeletal, minor surgery, gastroenterology and endoscopy. It also provides on-site diagnostics that use the very latest technology, including MRI, x-ray, ultrasound and CT scanning. This means that in many cases patients can see a consultant and have any diagnostic tests required in the same appointment.
Alison Hitchen, clinical services manager at Greater Manchester NHS CATS, said: “Every patient is important to us and we understand that a visit for an investigation or treatment can sometimes be stressful. Our team works very hard to make sure that people are fully prepared for treatment. We believe this virtual tour is a natural extension to that familiarity process.
“Supporting patients to be as relaxed as possible before, during and after their treatment is a fundamental part of our work. I believe that by launching this virtual tour we are demonstrating our ongoing commitment to patient satisfaction and I hope that people will find it a useful tool prior to their appointment with us.
“By embracing new technology we are able to help the people we support and care for, as well as their families, to make informed choices about their health and social care provision.”
Care UK worked with Ideal Insight – a Google virtual tour specialist – to create the tour of Greater Manchester NHS CATS. It can be accessed by visiting greater-manchester-cats.nhs.uk/take-a-look-inside